7 Things American Travelers Need to Understand

If this is the first time you’ll be traveling overseas, you can expect a little of the unexpected. A big part of the fun of travel is what you learn and discover along the way. However, the fun stops pretty quickly when you step on cultural toes, break the law or end up in financial trouble because you were unaware of local customs or regulations. Here are 7 things every American needs to know before crossing the pond:

Bring-CashLjupco Smokovski / Shutterstock

1. Bring Cash

Of course, carrying a fat wallet might draw the wrong sort of attention. However, if you go to a foreign city or town expecting debit and credit services at local markets, you’re likely to be disappointed, and quite possibly hungry with no chance of buying food. Do your research in advance to find out how the locals pay for food and services.

Buy-the-GuideLanguage-Books-Before-You-ArriveDmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock

2. Buy the Guide/Language Books Before You Arrive

Tourist oriented destinations might anticipate travelers stopping at local bookshops for maps, city guides and language translation books. Don’t presume this to be true of all places. Arriving prepared, especially with a book to help you be understood by others that don’t speak English, is priceless.

Local-Customs-Dont-Always-Make-Sense-but-Respect-Them-AnywaysCelig / Shutterstock

3. Local Customs Don’t Always Make Sense, but Respect Them Anyways

We might think it strange that pointing our feet at someone, chewing gum or taking someone’s picture without consent is highly offensive or disrespectful in certain cultures. Hand gestures like ‘OK’ or thumbs up are also considered provocative in some places. Because something doesn’t offend us doesn’t change the fact that it offends others. Try to be sensitive to local social culture and you’re more likely to have a positive experience while visiting the area.

PAGE 1 OF 3
SHARE ON

Advertisement

The Best Gifts for Travelers

If you’re a traveler, chances are you’ve spent the last few holidays receiving kitschy, travel-themed gifts from friends and loved ones while wishing they had given you something more useful, like airport lounge passes or an Airbnb gift card. While there are some gifts like cash, and airline tickets that will always be useful, there are a few items that we’ve sourced that have amazing reputations and are appreciated by even the most minimalist travelers.

Stress Free Tips for Traveling with Kids

Going to the grocery store with children in tow can be hard enough, let alone going on a vacation; but that doesn’t mean that your globetrotting has to end when you become a parent. In fact, studies have shown that children who go on holiday with their families are happier and tend to score higher in math and reading. They also obtain more general knowledge than their fellow classmates who do not travel.

Don’t Fall for These 10 Scary Traveler Scams

Hopping aboard a transcontinental flight on route to a new, ready-to-explore destination is a rush. Traveling teaches us about the world, sure. But, more than that, it teaches us about ourselves. You also probably already know that, unlike your comfort zone, traveling presents a lot of inherent risks. It’s a sad reality, but it’s a reality that rings true. You, as a tourist, are a two-bit criminal’s dream target. After all, you have absolutely no idea where you are, no idea where to go for help, and no clue what the scammers have in store.